Recently my son, Will, who is recovering from a bone marrow transplant had a full on come apart over a burrito at dinner.
He became completely overwhelmed by the swirling of emotions inside and finally there was no more space for them—those emotions had to come out. I reached across the table and placed my hand on his arm for comfort and just sat with him as he purged. His body quickly calmed and relaxed as it embraced the relief of this emotional unburdening. We resumed eating and when he was ready, we unpacked it a bit, ending in a supportive and loving hug.
As the pandemic continues and we confront our nation’s divisiveness over politics and race on a daily basis it strikes me as necessary that we all allow space for emotional unburdening—that of others and our own. This is hard as society may tell us that letting it out is a sign of weakness. Truthfully, those who courageously show their emotions are the strong ones. Those who are vulnerable enough to admit they are afraid and worried—they are the brave ones.
Owning our vulnerabilities and sharing them with others softens hearts and reminds us we really are all in this together. Today, take a moment to hold a brave space for those around you, regardless of perspective, and be sure to allow space for yourself to lay down your own burdens. You’ll be better for being brave.